A case study in how industry influence squelches the science of gas drilling impacts

February 9, 2012 • Judy Jordan

Garfield County, Colorado was one of the country’s first publicized cases of water contamination resulting from oil and gas activities.

The files I read seemed to suggest there had been some debates over the purpose of a study of the issue, which was carefully worded along the lines of seeking an understanding of the “conditions” there, yet not explicitly stating the obvious question:

Did EnCana cause contamination that had not been fully defined, and were oil and gas development practices likely to cause more contamination?

Clearly, we were walking a fine political line, trying to ameliorate the tensions between the industry and neighbors affected by their activities without alienating the industry.